When it comes to your on-camera presence, mental mindset is everything. In order to communicate with your audience effectively, you need to make sure you’re setting the right tone both vocally and physically. This starts from within.
When you speak to a camera, it’s always an audience of one. No matter how many people are watching you, they all feel like you are talking just to them. Consider it a conversation – not a performance to a piece of glass. Your camera is the conduit to your conversation partner; you just can’t see that person so well. Staring into the lens isn’t enough. In order to appear authentic and create a genuine connection, you need to pour your energy through the webcam in order to reach the person on the other side.
Keep reading for some tips on how to best mentally prepare for your next virtual presentation or meeting.
- Know your material. Being a confident speaker has everything to do with being confident about your subject matter. If you know you have a virtual presentation coming up, review the content you’ll be presenting ahead of time and get comfortable talking about it by doing a practice run or two. Recording yourself may seem like an odd thing to do, but it’s one of the best ways to really see how you present yourself and your material.
- Get plenty of rest. The camera shows everything and if you are exhausted, it’ll be readily apparent. It’s crucial to get plenty of sleep before a big presentation—just as much for a virtual meeting as in-person. When you feel your best from the inside out it shows in your physical appearance. Adequate sleep will also aid in smoothly conveying the information you’ll be presenting and being more alert for any questions that come your way.
- Be animated. Have you ever seen someone who is normally very animated in person seem to lose all of his personality when speaking on camera? When we talk to someone face to face, our facial expressions and body language often mirror that of our conversation partner. But the camera doesn’t give you any of those social cues, so sometimes we lose our natural expressiveness. When you present virtually, try to amp up your energy to combat the camera flattening effect. No one enjoys talking to someone who speaks in monotone and if you don’t appear interested in what you are saying, your audience surely won’t be either.
- Don’t forget to be yourself. While all of this advice might seem like a set of rules to follow, they are simply best practices for enhancing the real you on-camera. Authenticity is the key to be a successful on-camera communicator. Remember, it should feel more like you are having a conversation than like you are performing. Let people see the real you and do not pursue perfection. It’s an impossible goal and a quest that could backfire. If you go into “presenter mode” when speaking via video, you could end up coming across as fake. No one likes fake. Let your personality shine through and seek genuine connection with those receiving your message. That’s what will truly resonate.
In our Speaker Dynamics University course, the MVP’s of On-Camera Success, I’ll take you through even more best practices for finding the right mental mindset, practicing vocal variety and understanding the physical factors in video communication. The multi-faceted, micro-courses combine video lessons, real-world scenarios and personalized missions for you to put your skills to the test. If you’re interested in taking the course, learn more here.